Remember that zombie apocalypse AU I was writing? Me neither. But I got very excited about it in the shower yesterday and started smashing out a few short drabbles. This is one of them, sadly unedited.
My thanks to Max for ‘that Skrillex chap’.
Warnings: Mildly Bemused Violence; No Offence to Skrillex Fans Intended.
Charles lived a lifestyle that often landed him in minor emergencies, or required him to make extremely strange requests. This proved a difficult course to navigate until he discovered the solution: things sailed far smoother when one adopted an attitude of mild bemusement at all situations of urgency. This usually involved ending his texts with variations of ‘lol’ and ‘haha’.
The technique did not necessarily make Raven any less furious each time, but it certainly helped Charles field her rage.
He slung the axe back, resting the handle neatly on his shoulder, and texted Raven furiously with his free hand. Got an axe, haha! Any idea where to procure firearms? Lol.
Something was scrabbling and snarling at the bolted door. Charles had a fairly good idea of what that something was. He readied his axe once again, and winced when his phone roared enthusiastically. He had forgotten that Raven had changed her personalised text tone to a recording of him at one very memorable night in Oxford that involved a full yard of beer.
The door was proving to be very uncooperative, at least for whoever was on the other end. Charles chanced a look at Raven’s text. It was, as expected, very angry and generous in its exclamation points.
Charles chewed absently on his lower lip, and fumbled out a reply. No, I’m fine, but – as much as I never thought I’d say this – a gun would be useful at the moment. Lol.
The noises at the door had upgraded into some form of growling duet. From what Charles would hear from further down the corridor, the perpetrators would soon a full-fledged musical group. He had, it seemed, two options: wait it out, until he was either rescued or the now-creaking door finally succumbed under the undead horde, or fling the door open and take them as they come.
He gave his sanctuary an appraising once-over. It was a large storage closet of some kind, plenty of wooden crates, buckets, and numerous oily rags. It was very cramped. Charles moved several of the crates and stacked them on top of each other to give himself more swinging room.
There was no good, Charles reminded himself, in staying resolutely in the closet when people were beating it down. This was a lesson he taught himself in university, though he never expect it to be applied so literally. The door was flung open with a violent crash. He liked to think, just maybe, that the zombie that staggered out from behind the door looked ever so slightly offended.
Charles stared at the zombie. It bared its teeth at him, and emitted a hair-raising screech. He didn’t know what he expected.
He swung his axe, and noted with some morbid fascination how cleanly the poor fellow’s head came off his shoulders. Perhaps the disease affected flesh texture or cell structural integrity. He would have to take a few samples. The second zombie was rather messier – bloat stage of decomposition, judging by the viscous fluids oozing unpleasantly from its orifices. Charles nudged it away with the top of his axe, and swung again. The third had a face on his shirt that Charles could vaguely identify as that Skrillex chap. He swung. The last, in relatively advanced stages of decay, actually attempted to run towards Charles, an endeavour that was shortly ended by the detachment of its legs. Corpses were never meant for cross-country.
Charles leaned against the crates, feeling his heartbeat slowly return to normal. The dismembered zombies stickily at his feet, spreading a slow puddle of blackening blood towards his shoes. He took a pointed step backwards.
His phone was blinking again. Charles gingerly wiped a speck of gore off the screen with an oily rag, and read Raven’s message. It was one of what Charles liked to call her Punctuation Cocktails – equal parts exclamation and question marks, with just a dash of capital letters.
Relax, he typed. Got it all under control.
He glanced at an ominously twitching zombie. Haha, he added, and raised his axe.